Left over communion


#1

At my university, the Catholic campus ministry has mass three times each Sunday in the non-denominational campus chapel. The situation is a bit unusual for a couple reasons.

a) A group of students makes the bread used for communion (instead of the wafer hosts), so it does not keep as well and is broken into uneven pieces, so prolonged transportation risks crumbs.
b) There is no tabernacle in the chapel, but there is a (tiny) tabernacle off-campus at the small chapel in the campus ministry's house (it's really only big enough for a few small hosts and a monstrance). It is deemed not prudent to move the Eucharist there due to crumbs, the small size of the tabernacle, and the fact that the hosts are not paper-thin like the standard wafer hosts.

After communion, any remaining communion is brought to a back room of the non-denom chapel and (presumably reverently) consumed by extraordinary ministers since it is not moved off campus to the small tabernacle. I know EMHC's often finish any remaining Blood from the chalice at other masses I've been to, so I see nothing inherently wrong with this practice. But maybe you guys could give me some insight regarding whether EMHC's consuming the rest of the Body after communion is ok/reverent.


#2

:popcorn:


#3

I have a question from your question - does the bread the students make go along with Church’s guidelines?

Canon 924 §2.
The bread must be only wheat and recently made so that there is no danger of spoiling.

The instruction Redemptionis Sacramentum further specifies:

[48.] The bread used in the celebration of the Most Holy Eucharistic Sacrifice must be unleavened, purely of wheat, and recently made so that there is no danger of decomposition. It follows therefore that bread made from another substance, even if it is grain, or if it is mixed with another substance different from wheat to such an extent that it would not commonly be considered wheat bread, does not constitute valid matter for confecting the Sacrifice and the Eucharistic Sacrament. It is a grave abuse to introduce other substances, such as fruit or sugar or honey, into the bread for confecting the Eucharist. Hosts should obviously be made by those who are not only distinguished by their integrity, but also skilled in making them and furnished with suitable tools.


#4

Consuming the Blessed Sacrament is reverent when it’s done for the sake of prudence. As an EMHC, I have consumed Sacred Hosts after visiting a nursing home many times. Once, I consumed 5 Sacred Hosts. I felt weird about doing that, but there wasn’t a better option. I knew no priests were available at my parish to place them in the tabernacle.

I suppose many on this site will have problems with some of the other practices you’ve described, including using soft bread instead of flat hosts. Hosts are made that way to greatly reduce the production of crumbs. Also, I hope steps are made to try to reduce the amount of the Blessed Sacrament that’s left over. For example, I’ve been to Masses where an usher has actually counted how many people were there, and the priest only consecrated enough for those present. Ultimately, all of this is the responsibility of the priest and his bishop to carry out.


#5

I have been told, and it is my understanding that, all guidelines are met.


#6

A priest has to consecrate the offerings of bread…and I am almost certain that before doing so, he wants to know exactly what will happen with the Holy Eucharist…besides, a campus minister works closely with a Parrish, certainly not on his own.


#7

I apologize, I’m not entirely sure what you’re getting at here? :o


#8

I guess I didn’t really finish my statement :smiley: I meant I’m sure a priest knows what is going on, and probably the campus minister did not decide on his own what he was going to do…two things that drastically reduce the possibility that something is not being done according to the “best practices” :wink:

Since we can’t be 100% sure, though, it’s good to find out!


#9

Ah I see. Well our (non-student) campus minister and priest are one and the same person, which is convenient.


#10

Well, that does make a difference :o If he allows them to do so, it could not be irreverent since they act by virtue of obedience. As for right or wrong, I wouldn’t know, but I assume ( and hope :gopray2:) that the priest knows what he’s doing.

Perhaps someone who knows about the precise guidelines can provide further insight.


#11

Phew :blush: Because I was thinking " Ahhh! There is a whole different issue here!" Good to know everything is in order :smiley:


#12

For a couple years, we (EMHC) regularly consumed all the hosts consecrated at the mass. Our priest believed it was a fuller sign to receive hosts consecrated at that mass rather than using hosts from the tabernacle. So the only hosts kept in the tabernacle were those specially placed there for the traditional uses: Eucharistic adoration, the homebound, the sick and dying.


#13

[quote="Evan, post:12, topic:299915"]
For a couple years, we (EMHC) regularly consumed all the hosts consecrated at the mass. Our priest believed it was a fuller sign to receive hosts consecrated at that mass rather than using hosts from the tabernacle. So the only hosts kept in the tabernacle were those specially placed there for the traditional uses: Eucharistic adoration, the homebound, the sick and dying.

[/quote]

Indeed.

In the East, all of the Eucharist is consumed after the Liturgy unless there is a good reason to reserve some like the reasons you mentioned.


#14

Did they ever run out of Hosts or have a lot left over?


#15

I just want to note that when extra hosts are to be consumed, great efforts should be taken to have the correct amount of the Blessed Sacrament. For example, when visiting the nursing home, I am always monitoring the amount of Hosts I bring, taking into account factors that might cause me to have many left over, or not enough. On holidays and days with very nice weather, many people go out for the day. A while ago, the sacristan offered to fill my pyx with hosts to be consecrated for my visiting. I told him I needed 18 hosts. He said, “I’ll put 20.” I repeated that I needed 18. Also, I’ve been to small daily Masses where they literally count the people and consecrate that many hosts. One Church where I’ve been to a few daily Masses had a bowl with unconsecrated Hosts when you enter the chapel. If you are receiving Communion, you are to put a host onto a plate (patten?) next to the container. This ensures the exact right amount of hosts are consecrated.

I hope in the case of the original post, efforts are being made to not have a lot of extra, even if it is impossible to know exactly.


#16

It is my understanding that there aren’t usually far too many extra. That being said, it is difficult to tell firstly because the hosts have to be broken apart (not easily counted like regular wafer hosts) and secondly because all three Sunday masses at the good-sized chapel are very filled (we have superb weekly attendance for a non-religious university).


#17

[quote="hannajomar, post:14, topic:299915"]
Did they ever run out of Hosts or have a lot left over?

[/quote]

We got pretty good at setting out the proper number. We would note after mass if many more were needed or if there were way too few. If it appeared we would run out of hosts we could break the last few hosts in two or send the remainder of the communion line to another Minister. I only had to break hosts a couple times and there were usually only 5-10 to consume at the end of mass.

If there were a LOT of left over hosts, they would be reposed.


#18

There seems to be one simple solution: get some real hosts.


#19

When you say “real,” you mean what exactly? Our Eucharist is just as much the real Jesus as any. I suppose you mean “get some standard hosts”?


#20

Yes, I meant standard hosts.


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